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kubera

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PostSubject: over thinking spells   Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:43 pm

I know, I really have no life but when the kids get you up at 7:00 and you can't put anything interesting on the tv because they want to know why that person is bleeding, your out of library books and can't find any new online financial doomer porn this what I end up doing, or baking bread.



On a further read of poly other I realized the check to see if someone assumes the mentality and personality of the new form is actually a daily occurance meaning unless you have a combined level and intelligence mod over 20 you will eventually sucumb to being a troll, goat, dragon



The description is a bit of a yes/no but I believe it implies that until such time as the mentality is assumed the victim only has the mundane abilities of the creature but when finally converted wholely they can even assume the magical powers of said beasty. Anybody else read it this way.



a couple of things are unclear,, Does the term Mentality concern itself with only self image, identity, ego, or does it actually mean adopting the INT rating of that creature. Or would the eventual result mean you could in fact create dumb dragons, smart cows?

I believe its impliying that these oddities are only created IF the victim keeps making its role and never completes the final transformation



Now assuming both the original and final form are above animal intel what happens to

memory

alignment

intelligence

hp

HD once the conversion is complete.

will they conform to the new or old species norm



weird meta questions



if you decide to make someone into a dog, is the dog the real age of the human, the comparative age of the human or your percieved ideal age of general dogdom?

I would assume you could choose the breed of dog, colour of fur, etc so why not age?





Can sex be changed this way?



Would an amputee orc become an amputee dragon? or could you make them complete.

The same for the blind, gimpy, deaf, paralized, drug addicted, diseased?

is the new creature a physical clean slate or do all these afflictions carry over.



Would any mating done in poly other form be fertile( I'd say poly self would not as its not a perm, but poly other ????)



If you systematically polyied trolls into ocs you could get them enlisted in the enemy army only to dispell them at night to releash a world of pain. Many variations of this trick could be used.



You could poly orcs into a nice law abiding population of hobits , who's ever heard of an evil hobit (OK , who's heard of 2)
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:02 pm

If you're doing weird meta thinking here's one for you...

Rotok gets the jump on Harcourt and casts polymorph other on him. Rotok turns Harcourt into, of all crazy things... an elf.

Harcourt fails his saving throw and... What happens?

He already is an elf mentally... Does he maintain his levels/skills? Does he restore his previous elf body? What if it was a wild mage casting the spell and he forces the polymorph to take the form of his old body. What if you enhance the polymorph with a wish/limited wish?

Please feel free to ponder this list of questions but do not answer until I have a ruling from Jonathan.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:33 pm

If you look at the description of Polymorph Other (PO) then you'll see that your victim would turn into an elf. Your mind would still be Harcourt, as the mental capacity of an elf is the same as a half elf.



The question that bothers me is why would you want to waste a wish 'enhancing' a PO spell when a wish would work better on its own?
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:09 am

I was actually thinking more about limited wish (for $$$ reasons). Also, Wishes are hard to find, a limited wish should be somewhat easier. I mentioned wish just to add fuel to Carter's deep thoughts on polymorph other.

I was hoping the limited wish would improve the chances of getting something close to my former physical form and abilities back. Unless polymorph could ensure this would happen all on it's own - which after re-reading the spell - it does not...

From the description...
Quote :
...nor can exact ability scores be specified

So what does happen to physical abilities when a poly other is cast??? Do they remain as is and get adjusted for racial modifiers? Do you re-roll?

Polymorph Other can also be dispelled. I don't think that would be so easy if a limited wish has been thrown in to the mix.

Perhaps one could replace the poly other with a limited wish (instead of casting them sequentially) to achieve an enhanced and more controllable poly other. I was simply thinking sequentially.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:36 am

Quote :
So what does happen to physical abilities when a
poly other is cast??? Do they remain as is and get adjusted for racial
modifiers? Do you re-roll?

I'd say re-roll then add racial mods.

You do realize you'd have to roll system shock and could die again?

if you did die I would take that as a sign from on high and leave you dead.

If you had access to a limited wish you could simply wish the wild mage had made his attempt to control the spell, but you'd still have to roll stats.

Why not just spend your effort looking for stuff to better your stats? With the change of bodies you might also have the chance to make the change your profession, freeze thief where it is and take up priesting, or go triple class.

You escaped what should have been a permanent death, accept that and embrace your new self as a roll playing challenge.
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:15 pm

I don't believe that reincarnate would give me the opportunity to freeze a class as I am now playing a half-elf who would be multi-classed. If the roll was human, I agree, I would have had to freeze one class and continue with the other. Maybe Jonathan will let me freeze a class and not split xp going forward?

What items are you thinking of that give bonuses to constitution or dexterity? I already have gauntlets of dexterity. A single book to increase a stat is in the same price range as a wish (I'd be better off wishing I had cast a different spell - mirror image - in the first round of the sea zombie encounter). I'm just not sure what else there is.

Perhaps Jonathan will let me add a stat boost to the item I am having commissioned - Jonathan: check your private messages...
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:51 pm

so whats the issue you can't progress past a certain level as thief,, what level?

if you remained multi and reached your max level at some point , would you be required to split your xp regardless or would you automatically stop splitting?

If the later that's not so bad.
Even low level thief abilities come in useful for a mage to have,, my Kubera often got the chance to pilfer or back-stab even when double digit mage.

It's arguable that a major life change like a new body or a forced alignment change would give you the option of changing careers, I think we all agree that the rules are far too rigid regarding class/race limitations.

Why not have a sword made that increases your back stab multiple by one and makes anyone impaled silent for 1 round. The perfect assassin weapon.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:16 pm

Ok after talking at length about this spell with Jonathan yesterday I believe I understand how this would be ruled for most cases.

At the time of initial casting your roll to see if you fully become the creature you are transformed into. This roll is made daily until you fail, die of old age or get dispelled. A dispel previous to total transformation leaves you totally normal provided you make your system shock

Until such time when the target fail the save roll the transformed creature looks, moves and fights like the creature it is, however it also retains its memory and self image as its previous form and receives non of the magic or special attacks of its species.

if you transform a dog to a man initially you'd end up with a dumb man who licks himself, once the save is failed and the transformation is complete you'd have a dumb man with the potential to become a normal man but this entity is basically an unskilled, uneducated shell with the knowledge of a dog. remedial house training will be required.

If you transformed a man into a dog, the initial stage would be a very smart dog. If and when the save is failed and transformation is complete you'd have a mans intellect rammed into a container that's too small or too primitive to hold it.
The subsequent dog would be at the high end of dog intelligence and it would retain the basic knowledge of who it liked, who it hated, where home is and maybe 100 simple word commands,, Basically the victim is a non entity suitable for a familiar or animal friend but not a Character.

Because you are fully changing the form of the victim, age, injury and disease can be removed and sex can be changed.
You are turning them into your ideal of the average specimen, not old, not hurt, not diseased.

The caster cannot decide the physical stats of a victim, (slight
variations with possible blow back may be available for specialist
mages)

Alignments of creatures as per monster manual are not absolute,, you cannot make evil trolls into good hobbits.

I don't think we specified what happens to HP andHD when the transition takes place but if its like rest of the stats they should remain as per the victim until such time the save is failed and they revert to the new species norm.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:22 pm

A very common occurance will be the adventurer type character who has a combined INT and level high enough to avoid ever failing the daily save.



In this case a man to rabit becomes a dead end character unless you can attact the attention of somone who can dispell you before something eats you. The idea of a rabit with 80 hp points and can pierce plate armour is ludicrous but possible by these rules.



one ideal way to utilize this spell is taking an ailing, elderly or crippled person and transforming them (with permission) to another race of their choosing. IN some cases they will fail the save and depending on new race may become too flighty or disinterested in their human past to continue their previous career. You have to realize that adventuring for good and risking your life on a daily basis may not be to the likey for the average hobbit, or gnome. When they fail their save their cultural base changes not just their body. A newly forged dwarf may loose interest in gardening and take interest in building things despite the fact he still knows the scientific name for all wild flowers.



In the best case scenerio for the caster a elderly human Ranger becomes a refreshed and grateful 1/2 elf ranger.



Either way the recipient of the spell gains a new life.
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:00 pm

I hate to say this but I disagree with the gender change. If that were the case, this is the solution to the Girdle of femininity/masculinity or at least it shouldn't work when the girdle has been the cause of a previous change. Since it would typically take divine intervention to change the gender of someone affected by the girdle it just seems wrong to let a 4th level spell fix the issue. I do realize I may be shooting Wilhelm(ina) in the foot with this statement.

Another manipulation of the spell would allow you to improve stats. Let's say you are a wizard with great intelligence, wisdom and charisma scores but lousy constitution, strength and dexterity. By casting poly other the opportunity would be there to re-roll the 3 physical stats. Your 7s and 8s could become 16s and 17s. Yes you could lose out but if you do, just dispel and redo. Once you're happy seek out the permanency spell.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:37 pm

IMO the girdle is a curse and a very strong one that cannot be corrected using remove curse. Because this afliction is magical in nature and I'd rule it was attached to your soul not your body, this gimick would not fix willie. "IT's magic" Ask jonathan for a ruling if you want your nuts back.



Even if this was solution to the girdle you'd still have to roll all the physical attributes again and make your system shock,, this is not a choice for he feint of heart,, that's why my scenerio consists of using poly on people at the end of their natural span and fighting tooth and nail to remain alive, or those who's ruined bodies allow them few options.



As for your mage scenerio, would they chance the real death and changing into a new race that would not allow them to achieve the maximum levels of magic?.. maybe , probably not.. Many mages realize the mind and magic is superior to the body, would they even have this thought.. its not as if your personal stats are bar coded on your ass for everyone to see.

you do realize that your imagined mage with the 7 or 8 constitution has a 45% chance of dying from this spell? I would think most frail mages would understand the dangers of this transformation. As Doug, not a character what percentage chance of death would you tolerate for elective surgery?

you also have to understand that most people have a rather strong attachment to their self image no matter how defective it may be,, someone on the verge of death may choose to chance this spell, others may die quite happily in their own shell.



The only other demographics that might volunteer for the proceedures would be those with a fetish to be a different species (plushies anyone) or a very determined intelegence opperative working for the north Koreans
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:23 pm

Like I said
Quote :
or at least it shouldn't work when the girdle has been the cause of a previous change
It should not fix the girdle scenario - We are in violent agreement.

I suggest the wizard scenario only to demonstrate how one could pervert the spell to meet a need (in line with the topic title - "over thinking spells"). I am not suggesting that anyone would actually line up to have this done.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:04 am

Messing with people may have difficulties but taking trained attack dogs who have been well socialized to humans but savagely taunted and tormented by charmed orcs and you have perfect poly fodder that can be turned into Dire Wolves.

Yes they will become more aggressive as Wolves but the simple conditioning of who's a friend and who's the enemy should hold. No good against an army but as an adjunct to normal patrols meant to keep out spys and small patrols it would be a worthy addition.


I would assume that if turned into a dragon the dog would understand how to be a dragon, fly, use its breath weapon etc. it would not however know how to cast spells, speak, reason until it had time to expand into its new mental facilities. The Dog would be a very powerful flying dog with at least a residual trace of love and trust to is previous owner. Now eventually that Doggon will evolve , learn to speak cast etc and potentially take its previous owner to task if it decides it was poorly used during its innocent period.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:49 pm

There are three rolls needed here. Save vs spell, system shock and intelligence check. For all scenarios assume the save vs spell failed but the system shock succeeded. Otherwise it's either still a dog or it's dead.

Using the dragon example...

The way I read it, As long as it continues to pass the intelligence roll it can locomote and bite/claw as a dragon but, it can't cast spells or use a breath weapon. Fido's personality and training will also continue (it's actually impossible for a dog to pass the intelligence check but let's go with it for now).

Once the dog fails the intelligence check (should be pretty quick for a dog) it will gain all of the abilities of the dragon including breath and magic but, will lose the Fido's personality as it is now in all respects a dragon.

The spell does say that it still knows what it knew previously. I agree - the deeply rooted feeling of like or dislike will continue. I also think it might take some time to figure out the spell ability, speaking and other intelligence based skills. The spell description makes it sound automatic.


A thought on how to swell the forces of good (or evil)...

Befriend a bunch of pets (say dogs) treat them well. Cast poly other on each one of them turning them into gold dragons (or whatever ultra powerful good creature you like). Wait for them to fail the intelligence roll (should happen immediately). Until they do fail the intelligence check and complete the transformation, they won't hurt you as they like you. Once the transformation is complete release them to do whatever it is that gold dragons do.

I think there should be some restriction on what you can change victims into. Or I don't think victims should ever be be allowed to gain magical/special abilities - regardless of the intelligence roll. But there isn't. Let's make some storm giants.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:40 pm

As I see it the dog recieves the essensence of being a dragon, its urges, its Automatic abilities, its motion. The ability to talk, cast spells, would be not unlike a newborn dragons lack of skills in this area because the memory of language, magic etc are missing. I would argue it might instinctively know how to scratch, bite, breath fire etc but would have no life experience therefore no ratonal tactics.



I believe the Doggon would certainly have a head start because of its access to its dog memories and great potential intelect (int points) but I don't believe it could speak its race language or understand more words than the dog new initially. It would certainly mature faster mentally faster than a baby dragon does but I would expect it to take years to have its magical skills and knowledge base catch up to its body. Just to make it a lifetime commitment rather than a battle winning strategy I'd say 2-3 real years of attentive education to exit each Dragon age category. As the default poly creates a creature in the full of its life, said Doggon would need more than a decade to achieve the maturity of a natural young adult dragon.



The alternative is the Doggon recieves an off the shelf generic set of dragon memories which I believe is an inelegant answer to the problem.. This may also lead to the caster being eaten as the Doggon leaves.



Of course I'm not a DM , this is just my rationalization to make rules make sense.



Of course a Humgon or an elfgon would mature much more quicky than the Doggon
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:16 am

Quote :
The alternative is the Doggon recieves an off the shelf generic set of
dragon memories which I believe is an inelegant answer to the problem..
This may also lead to the caster being eaten as the Doggon leaves.

I agree - it might but, the doggon will remember what it knew previously so that would somehow need to be a part of the dragon's psyche - and it may not eat you. Alternately - a few moments earlier fido was playing with his favourite human (you) and suddenly he suffered a hideous assault and was transmogrified into the beast he now is. Although he will eventually like his new form - I think there will be some residual bad feelings after being assaulted in such a way. He may eat you out of anger. After he adjusts to his new body completely (and the initial anger from the assault passes - the doggon may be grateful for it's new form. It's those few minutes where it's still freaked out about the assault that would be the real concern.



Going back to a previous comment...

Quote :
The idea of a rabit with 80 hp points and can pierce plate armour is ludicrous but possible by these rules.

I agree it does sound a little strange but you are forgetting about the Rabbit of Caerbannog. With it's nearly 2 meter high jumps and sharp gnashing teeth it was able to lay waste to King Arthur's armoured soldiers. If not for the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, Arthur never would have been able to complete his quest...

...oh yeah... that was funny because it was ludicrous... never mind.
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PostSubject: Re: over thinking spells   Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:39 am

Quote :
A thought on how to swell the forces of good (or evil)...

Befriend
a bunch of pets (say dogs) treat them well. Cast poly other on each
one of them turning them into gold dragons (or whatever ultra powerful
good creature you like). Wait for them to fail the intelligence roll
(should happen immediately). Until they do fail the intelligence check
and complete the transformation, they won't hurt you as they like you.
Once the transformation is complete release them to do whatever it is
that gold dragons do.

Unfortunately while we run into the non humans and monsters who actively sow evil, good creatures don't seem as active because the act of not doing evil is in of itself being good. Good is often perceived as the passive path while evil is the active path,. You don't hear of humans armies having dragons, and Deva's, Solars and goodly avatars fighting on their side but the evil guys do have demons, and devil and such.

I could also see haughty dragons and other good creatures going out of their way to dispel these Doggons because they would feel it cheapens them,, there would also be the fear that a herd of Doggons who were more active than the natural good dragons might insight the evil dragons to cooperate and declare war on Good dragon kind, rather than the more random territorial fights they have now. The immense life spans of dragons can also make them pointless allies who are in no rush to act.

As Jonathan ruled orcs transformed to hobbits would still be evil Doggons by default would tend to neutral, left to their own devices they would just go live somewhere, scratch themselves and eat. You'd have to use base stock with good alignment to achieve good dragons, this leaves out most animal level intelligences.

I agree you could goose the odds slightly with a few manufactured power beings, who of course would be commandeered by the DM almost immediately and never seen again, But full scale manufacturing would immediately become a game changer the DM would not allow.

If DMing I'd probably nix any attempt to create extra planar beings, demons, solars, elementals/jinn- uniques Tiamatt
and undead.

Sticking to short runs of simple improvements like Dogs to Dire Wolves/tigers/grizzlies would seem best. Trained hawks to giantwawks/rocs
trained horses to pegasai/griffins/hippogrifs (make sure you have a feather fall available in case it gets dispelled)

Old men into young elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, the less bestial giant types, Wouldn't mind a few storm giants on our side in a battle.
Old dwarves transformed into Giants would make great masons cutting huge blocks and building massive walls like those in south America.
Even Dog to Giant would make loyal guards you could train to do heavy labor. Of course you would have to make accommodations for them, feed them, supply large clothes, weapons etc. Unless you have urgent use for them their existence would get very costly.
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